For many organizations today, technology is playing an increasingly large role in driving environmental, health, safety (EHS) and quality compliance and processes. Across every industry, a higher percentage of the budget is being allocated towards EHS software. Analyst firm Verdantix forecasts that organizations will spend over $1,150 million by 2019 on EHS software alone.
As organizations continue to embrace technology to improve EHS and quality processes, properly aligning with the IT Department is becoming a vital step in ensuring the success of any software project.
To help with this, we’ve outlined 5 initial steps to aligning your EHS project with your IT Department’s priorities:
1. Engage the IT Department Early in the Selection Process
When selecting EHS and quality software the focus is typically placed on the application’s functionality and features. How the software will help automate processes, improve visibility and help trend data to ensure compliance and mitigate risk across your organization.
Your IT Department, on the other hand, will be focused on an entirely different set of criteria. They will likely be interested in how the software can integrate with existing business platforms, if the software vendor meets corporate standards and industry compliance regulations relating to data control or security and how the EHS applications you are considering can scale with future requirements.
Including the IT Department early in the selection process can help ensure the software meets objectives across the organization and can greatly impact the success of software implementation.
2. Gain Executive Buy-In For your Software Project
Once you have collaborated with IT to identify a suitable software vendor, the next step is to ensure that the IT Department is vested in the success of the project.
Gaining buy-in from an executive stakeholder in the IT Department can influence timelines, the allocation of resources and can ensure that your EHS software project is made a priority.
3. Outline the ROI of Implementing EHS Software
To gain executive buy-in you will need to prove the potential return on their investment in your project.
Prepare a business case that outlines the benefits of implementing EHS software for your organization.
4. Work with the IT Department to Establish the Scope of the Project
Establish the scope of your project from the onset with your IT Department. The scope should identify exactly what is required in order to deliver the EHS product with the specified functions, features and objectives initially outlined with the software vendor. Off-the-shelf software applications are often deployed much faster and generally require less time during the implementation phase. On the other hand, applications that are highly configured to your organization’s unique processes will require more time to integrate and a very well defined project scope.
Work with your IT Department to regularly monitor the project scope. To ensure the project meets your requirements, avoid deviating from the original scope too frequently.
5. Set a Specific Timeline with frequent Milestones
To ensure your EHS project is a priority and remains on track, work with your IT Department to outline a specific timeline with relatively frequent milestones.
Establishing regular project milestones can help identify and alleviate any potential problems that can occur during the implementation process and ultimately derail your software project. Collaborate with your IT Department to create a project roadmap, assign individuals accountable for key milestones and outline a timeline to ensure the software project remains on track and in line with your project’s scope.
Engaging your IT Department in the selection process, establishing executive buy-in by outlining project ROI and collaborating on the project scope and timeline ensure the success of your EHS software project.
Visit us again in the coming weeks for more information on technology in the EHS industry. Up next – we explore how to answer questions IT will likely have about your project.